Buying at auctions


Only a small proportion of domestic properties in New Zealand are offered for sale at public auction, but selling at auction is becoming more popular.

These are usually properties whose value isn’t easily determined, such as unique luxury properties and those requiring major renovation. Properties repossessed from those who’ve failed to meet their mortgage repayments are also sold at auction. If you have an eye for a bargain or enjoy the thrill of the auction room, you may wish to consider buying a property at auction. Before doing so you should:

  • Ascertain the true market value of the property. The best way to do this is to check on the selling prices of similar properties in the immediate area.
  • Pre-arrange your finance. You're usually required to pay a 10 per cent deposit as soon as your bid is successful and sign a contract within a day or two (if not immediately).
  • Inspect the property thoroughly. Never buy unseen no matter how low the price. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is!

If the property seems genuine, you could consider making a pre-auction bid of around 30 per cent less than its market value. Prices fetched at auction are notoriously unreliable and sellers who are ‘jittery’ may (legally) agree to a deal before the auction, in which case you could have yourself a bargain!

Further reading

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